The Inbetweeners

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Title screen, made using paper cutouts.

The Inbetweeners was a British E4 hidden-camera reality show based in London, England. The show follows the lives of some English sixth-formers and their absolutely cringe-worthy lives of daily embarrassment, and aired between 2008 and 2010. It is very similar to the 2002 documentary The Office, except much more real. The series was so successful that the crew got their own reality feature film, where they roam about Greece trying to have sex with random women. A second film was released in August 2014. The trailers always point out that the sequel is "funnier than the first" - this, however, is not a compliment.

For those without comedic tastes, the so-called experts at Wikipedia think they have an article about The Inbetweeners.

The first film was a hit and inspired the also E4 reality series What Happens in Kavos, which itself revolves around British sluts who themselves go to Greece and have sex. Unlike the Inbetweeners, this show was critically panned as "completely unfunny", primarily because E4 forgot to mention this was a separate reality series that was not only unconnected to the Inbetweeners, it also isn't even a comedy. The Inbetweeners was famous for its vulgar, swear-filled dialogue which puts South Park to shame (then again, Comedy Central bleeps the most vulgar swear words out). The show was remade with absolutely no swearing in the USA, where it was welcomed with open arms and finished a successful run of 12 episodes (which is actually only 6 episodes less than the original).

edit Cast


The main characters. From left to right: the Inbetweeners.

The Inbetweeners features 4 primary characters:

  • Will MacKenzie, an adult documentariest going undercover as a teenager. However, because he is an adult, he has mistaken what kids nowadays find "hip" and takes a briefcase to school
  • Simon Cooper, a British reconstruction of the Statue of Liberty which has an anger problem of sorts and an obvious put horribly disturbing crush on another student which provides scenes more embarrassing than David Brent
  • Jay Cartwright, a popular and well-loved ladies' man who does not make all of those sex stories up and is sought after for his wise advice on the subject
  • Neil Sutherland, the possibly disabled guy in the back. Despite being slow and completely unable to understand basic concepts, he is the most popular member of the crew and is the only one to have had sex (except for Jay of course, ha ha, how could you forget that?)

Other characters include their respective parents, Mr Gilbert - a caring headmaster who is friendly to the students (particularly his favourite, Will) and loves his job - and Mr Kennedy - the un-threatening teacher that everybody feels safe around.

edit Origins


Jay Cartwright in 2012. After the show had finished, he grew his hair long and became a Blues musician. He claims his lyrics "cover a variety of topics, including sex, booze, minge, tits, sex and booze".

In 2004, Iain Morris (either pronounced "ee-yayn" or "yein") and Damon Beesley founded their own television company, Bwark Productions. They told the public that their first show would be the Inbetweeners. The series was likely conceived just so they could make their own word up and get it in the Dictionary. A few years later, in the summer of 2007, the crew were loitering around the streets when they saw free teenagers being idiots outside a local primary school, drinking beer cans and leaving them there.

Curious, they decided to actually make a reality show with this name (originally, they wanted to fuck with the public by announcing the show and never actually making it). Recruiting local actor Simon Bird, the crew decided to train the muscular Bird into playing a not-so-muscular swot, provided he does not remove his clothing, for that would instantly reveal his adulthood. Bird's acting became the new persona of Will MacKenzie, who went undercover to perform various embarrassing shit and see how the teenagers would react. He was given the backstory of a private school student whose parents divorce and he moves to a comprehensive school (the English are known to be excessively posh; this means "secondary school").

After four long years of waiting, everybody forgot about the show, and by the time they aired it in 2008 people were too busy watching Oprah on their televisions. Channel 4 launched an extensive advertising campaign on the show, and even sent a letter to Fox Network threatening to wage war on America unless they stopped airing their shows in Britain (the producers weren't actually sure who aired Oprah, but all American channels are the same anyway). Finally, on the date the show was to air, in April 2008, tens of thousands tuned in to Channel 4 to watch the show. In a dick move, the producers actually aired the show on another channel, E4, just to troll their viewers. The Inbetweeners was now officially aired.

edit Synopsis

edit Series 1

Shoelace Maths

Will MacKenzie casually completes a week's worth of coursework.

Will MacKenzie is an adult documentarist who goes undercover as a teenager in London to examine the teenage psyche. He does everything he can to look cool, but unfortunately, he has no understanding of modern teenage culture. In this first series, the Inbetweeners get into all sorts of exciting adventures, which includes revising and doing their coursework for their A-levels. They also do some drunken shit outside of school, but that is hardly important.

edit Series 2

In the second series, the Inbetweeners are in their second year out of two of sixth form. This is that cool series where they actually do stuff, such as going around the streets of London, and that one episode where Simon's racist French exchange friend comes in. Geddit? Because he is foreign, so you wouldn't expect him to be racist! Also, this is the series where Will has the "accident" in the exam hall that you keep hearing about throughout the third series, so if you miss this one the show won't make sense.

edit Series 3

In the third and final series, the cast are in their third year out of two (they still go to school for some reason). Simon goes out with some random girl he won't shut up about for the next four episodes, and the series gets more cringeworthy than before. Then they go camping and burn Will's stuff. Bird breaks character here and exclaims how glad he is that this "fucking show is over". Jay and Niel park (teenage) Simon's car in the lake and the series ends with Will beating the shit out of Jay for all the abuse he's been given these past few years.

edit Reception

The Inbetweeners was a huge success, detailing the true personality of the British teenage psyche. Critics praised the acting of Simon Bird who, despite being constantly bullied and terrorised, keeps his cool and doesn't break character (this is a complete lie on the critics' behalf, because Will clearly loses it nearly every two episodes). The school bullies in the show were also publicly shamed. The outrage caused a crowd of 40 year olds to jump the roughly 16-18 year olds and brutally attack them. The show also inspired two films, both of which were equally as successful.

edit The Inbetweeners USA

Unsatisfied with the destroying of previous good British TV shows, the Americans over in the US of A decided to remake the show. Jay was replaced with a fat man who would later appear in Grand Theft Auto V. To reinforce the "humor" as they call it, Jay's yank counterpart is made to be even more annoying than he is. Neil is given long hair, a clue to how the actor was some failing rock star that the crew pulled off the streets with the offer to pay him if he stars in the show, no acting talent required. The latter two appear to be like something out of an American film about high schools. To replace Simon and Will, the studio found two identical twins and cast them. Will is no longer a geek, he is just an ordinary person, a subtle piece of propaganda that reminds viewers how there are no geeks in America. The TV series removed all the swear words and made the series more slapstick. The excessive amounts of slapstick violence, the only thing that really drives the series, was however removed completely - due in no part to strict censorship laws in the United States - so now the series is nothing. The first episode received thousands of viewers, due to a misunderstanding (caused by the series being named "the Inbetweeners" and not "the Inbetweeners USA") which led to viewers mistaking it for the Brit original.

Studio executives are still baffled how the series failed.

edit See Also

  • E4
  • American Pie - American film inspired by the Inbetweeners, except stripped of its humour
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